So you've got Jim (Douglas Barr) and his wife Martha (Maren Jensen, who was Athena on the original Battlestar Galactica and what more do you need to know) tending to their farm in a young, carefree fashion. To one side of their land they've got the Hittites, a wackadoo religious sect led by Isaiah (Ernest fucking Borgnine). On t'other they've got Louisa (Lois Nettleton) and Faith (a pre-nosejob Lisa Hartman), a wackadoo mother and daughter.
And then stuff happens.
I mean really, it's true- a bunch of stuff happens and I swear, I was scratching my head trying to connect the dots to basically no avail. Stuff. Just. Happens.
- In the dead of night, Jim gets run over in his barn by his tractor. Was someone driving the tractor? We don't know.
- Hittite Michael Berryman lurks a lot, and for a while you think "Okay, so Deadly Blessing is about this creeper..." but then he's stabbed and killed by someone. BUT WHO, DEADLY BLESSING? BUT WHO.
- Isaiah calls all the non-Hittite women "incubus". What? Does he mean "succubus"? Does he mean anything? We don't know.
- Lana (Sharon Stone) and Vicky (Susan Buckner), old pals of Martha, show up to help the young widow ease into young widowhood.
- A dog gets a blast of mace to the face!
- "You are a stench in a nostril to God." - Isaiah
- Lana starts dreaming about a guy and spiders and a guy who is a spider, and everyone is like "Shut up, Lana."
- Sharon Stone, amirite? I mean, in this movie a spider goes in her mouth! She did a shit ton of work before 1992, when a simple flash-o-vagina brought her stardom in Basic Instinct. I am just saying, let's give that broad some credit. If not for this, then for 1984's Calendar Girl Murders.
- Ill-timed, overblown music cues turn ordinary moments into big exciting movie moments, like, say, Martha putting her hair in a ponytail.
- Lana has a run-in with some spiders and maybe a guy in the barn and she cries a lot, and everyone is like "Get over it, Lana."
- Someone is killing people! Sometimes by practical means, like stabbing or setting a car on fire with the driver inside...and sometimes by nonsensical means, like putting a snake in a bathtub. And I'm going to pretend that the shot of Nancy in the tub in A Nightmare on Elm Street was Wes Craven saying "Hey guys, remember when I had this same shot in Deadly Blessing? What the heck was with that movie, anyway? That was some seven-layer dip shit!"
- Lana goes to pour some milk only to discover that someone has replaced the milk with
Folgers Crystalsblood! She screams and makes a mess everywhere, and everyone is like "Lana, GO HOME."
- There's a coffin full of chickens.
But then...the last ten minutes. I'm not going to give away anything here, because...the last ten minutes of this film should not be given away. Let me just say that it's jaw-dropping. It is women punching, shooting, flying around due to punches and/or gunshots, and making crazy faces. It is a big pile of total what-the-fuckery, and it completely redeems all that came before. And just when you think it is over, it is not. And then your jaw- still dropped!- will say "fuck this" and throw itself out your window. It's amazing.
So for that and also this production still of Martha, Lana, and Vicky? I will certainly regret you later, Deadly Blessing, but for now...you win. You win.
Give it up for the Film Club Coolies!
The Life and Times of a Cineman
JDC's Little Hill
Into the Mirror
Aphorisms and Ectoplasm